GOOD NEWS: Gympie mum Stacey Doherty with her son Oscar, 3 years, and and daughter Clancie Jan, 11 months. Greg Miller
GOOD NEWS: Gympie mum Stacey Doherty with her son Oscar, 3 years, and and daughter Clancie Jan, 11 months. Greg Miller

Gympie gives big ‘yes’ for new child care plans

WHATEVER the Abbott federal Government may intend with its new emphasis on child care, especially for working parents, one thing was clear yesterday - we're in favour of it.

In a sudden move to jettison unpopular policies - and at a moment of crisis for Tony Abbott's Prime Ministership - the PM announced a major change of strategy in his plan to maximise his appeal for parents.

Mr Abbott scrapped his unpopular plan to provide government-funded parental leave (with full replacement of lost wages up to $50,000 a year, for up to six months.)

The scheme had been strongly criticised for directing money from needy parents to those with good jobs and less need for assistance.

Parents and child care providers around the Gympie Region yesterday were in agreement that anything making child care more affordable and more available would be welcome.

Garry Brown, owner of Day Care of Auz in Stanley St, Gympie, said it was hard to comment "until we can see what's being offered."

That was a sentiment echoed elsewhere in the Gympie child care profession.

But it was clear anything that makes day care better or more affordable for families will be welcome.

A spokeswoman for Kitiwah Place Early Learning Centre in Power Rd said she could not really express a view without knowing the specifics of whatever new policy was about to be introduced and its effects on the specific circumstances of Gympie parents and their child care industry.

One operator said it was imperative that child care be affordable for parents compelled to earn two incomes to pay off the family home.

Gympie professional and mother of two Stacey Doherty has used child care in Rockhampton, Sydney and Gympie and says Gympie is more affordable.

Ms Doherty receives some help from family, and says if she had to pay for child care for two young children five days a week it would not be viable for her to work full-time.

Pressures on young families can come from many directions including high mortgages, meaning both parents must work, but the high cost of child care sometimes makes the second income barely worth having.

Another parent said her experience was that her net income after child care was not a lot better than payments available from Centrelink, if she had chosen to stay home.

Gympie Times


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